Grace to you!
We journey with Saint Paul in today’s reflection. Saint Paul opens his heart to us as he did to the Philippians in the Letter to the Philippians, written around 54 and 63 AD.
The Philippian church was small, but strong and generous. They were among the few churches, if not the only church, from whom Saint Paul accepted gifts for his ministry (Phil 4:15). He loved them. They loved and treasured him. Hence, he writes to them with tenderness and intimate connection. He allows his deepest thoughts to flow as he brings them into his personal understanding of worship and life in Christ.
We read from Philippians 2:5-6: “Have this mind among yourselves, which was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him…”(Phil 2:5-10).
Reflect on those words for a moment. We see one of the clearest testimonies about the divine person of Jesus Christ as God and man. We see how in his human nature the Lord showed us what true deposition of the believer should be—humble service to the will of God the Father. This kind of humility is also worship because worship is rendering to God the supreme honor due to God in our hearts, thoughts, actions and entire life. It’s a life of praise unto God. It’s pure gratitude to the Lord for who we are and what we have.
Consider the symbol of the crucifixion, the worst death that could be during the time that Saint Paul writes. Yet, Jesus chose to die that way as a necessary route to glory. In this, the Lord is showing us how glory for the believer is necessarily tied to the cross, suffering. The blessings of the cross flow not to the arrogant but to the humble. The Lord himself tells us in many occasions during his life on earth how glory, exultation is entwined with humility (Mtt 23:12; Lk 14:11).
Humility reminds us of the reality of who are and who we are made to be. It is one of those virtues that make us honest about ourselves in relation to God and in relation to others. Anyone who has a humble heart has the mind of Christ. It is the true heart of worship.
Sometimes, we go about our business thinking of ourselves as if we are God. Perhaps, things we wish and work for come our way as we desire it. Sooner or later, we begin to assume that we determine everything and are in control of everything. We miss the point that we’re simply beneficiaries of divine blessings. If we as believers understand grace as unmerited favor, it should make us more humble.
Consider that many have done the same things you’ve done and still aren’t where you are. Many have put in more than you have and still not reached where you are. There are many things around us reminding us to be humble; and in the deepest part of our heart, offer back to God the glory that belongs to God for all we have and all the blessings we have received.
I pray that God’s Word in this Letter of Saint Paul, will find a home in our hearts. Amen
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Tuesday Ordinary Time B: Phil 2:5-11; Lk 14: 15-24]
Author and Goal
Father Maurice Emelu PhD., provides a daily blog of reflections based on the Scriptural readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. The goal is to teach, inspire, encourage, and foster healing through the grace of God's word. They are written in a language that is appropriate for a general audience. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration, and developing your thoughts. They may also be useful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.